Some call it aggressive marketing. I call it shameless self-promotion.
I know. Everybody has a podcast these days. Allegedly, there are over 2 million of them in the depths of the internet. So who am to compete with the likes of Mushroom’s Hit Different or the awesome Song Exploder?
So here’s the thing. Don’t listen to ‘Silly Talks’ for me. Check it out because of the amazing Aussie acts I’ve interviewed for it. And I guarantee that most of them you’ll hear about for the first time.
It is not a regular blog post, so I need to start with a disclosure. For now, I’m a much better interviewer than I am a podcast producer. But I’m getting there.
The primary reason I started ‘Silly Talks’ is that I like talking. Secondly, I enjoy speaking to musos. And lastly, I find the Aussie ones very approachable and easy to connect with.
Some of those conversations just didn’t fit the blog format, though. They were too long for a regular write-up, but – at the same time – there were way too many good insights from the artists to ignore.
Plus, I feel like it’s a nice break for you from my usual yapping. And it’s good for me to catch up with someone who actually “lives” and shapes the Aussie music industry once in a while.
So the idea is simple. Since I’m overseas, I catch up with musos on Zoom. We chat about their career highlights, lessons learned, future plans, and general industry topics. It always turns out that the chat evolves around a specific topic, which becomes that episode’s overarching theme.
The chats can be quite lengthy sometimes. So I divide them into two parts: a ‘Silly Talk’ and a ‘Silly Encore’. I release both episodes with one artist in one week, so you don’t lose the plot.
Generally speaking, the first one would be a more industry-related convo. And the Encore part shows a more “behind the scenes” and “human” side to the artists. Many times, however, the two things blend in.
How do I choose guests for the podcast, you ask? I’m afraid there’s no objective key. Everyone I’ve spoken to so far has an interesting angle to their story in the biz, from my perspective, at least. And to be honest, I have to connect to their music somehow, if you know what I mean.
So here’s what’s been discussed on the ‘Silly Talks’ so far.
I released it in December 2021.
My three guests back then all happened to be solo female songwriters. It wasn’t deliberate, it just happened. So please don’t attribute any feminist narrative to it.
Episodes 1&2 – Dzirè
I came across this Melbourne-based alternative artist on LinkedIn. Her Dzirè Music project, through which she helps other musos “reach their potential by unlocking their artistic creativity”, sparked my attention right away.
Hence, the topic of our convo reflects Dzirè‘s approach to music. She very much embodies the definition of a DIY artist. She writes, performs, and produces tracks herself (or with the help of a family member) and puts on the different hats when it comes to the business side of things.
She’s also a strong believer that bedroom-made music can be refined for the market.
Find out how from the episodes dedicated to her. And check out Dzirè’s latest single below:
Episodes 3&4 – Prita Grealy
Prita Grealy and I have something in common. Apart from our love for music, we’re avid travellers. We’ve both lived in Europe and Australia and have some thoughts on how the two music industries work.
No wonder the now Perth-based singer-songwriter has heaps of tips for emerging musos on practical things when you “manage yourself”. According to her, it’s all “learning by doing”.
She also talks me through her fascination with hip hop and reveals which non-music-related video on her YouTube channel is the most-watched one.
I found the “Hip-Soul-Folk live loops” artist, as she dubs herself, in a quite unlikely place… on the website of the Australian Embassy in Berlin. If you want to know why she’s moved back to Western Australia, give her episodes a listen. Plus, here’s a taster of Prita’s vocal skills in her most recent single:
Episodes 5&6 – Kate Westwood
Kate Westwood is a very particular type of artist. While she loves her audience, she doesn’t necessarily have the urge to perform live. But she’s a great businesswoman, dedicated to educating up-and-coming musicians on the ins and outs of the industry instead.
She even established her own company, Westwood Management, offering heaps of useful courses, workshops, and resources to anybody who’s just starting out in the business. Despite her company’s name, she thinks “artist coaching” is a much better expression to describe it.
Kate is also behind the Indie Musician Summit where she and other experts in the field share tips on how to stay on top of things in the ever-changing music business.
To find out how her company works, check out the respective episodes. And if you’re interested in what Kate sounds like as a musician, here is her latest single:
I released it between the end of April and May 2022.
I reckon I gained a bit more confidence after dropping all those episodes from the first season. So in the second one, I reached out to more artists representing fairly different genres.
Also, for the first time, I got to speak to a whole band, as well as individual artists.
Plus, I dropped an unexpected extra episode (even for myself).
Episodes 1&2 – Anita Quayle
I started the season on a high note – I’d never actually spoken to a musician playing a traditional instrument before. But Anita Quayle also uses her cello in contemporary ways that I never even knew were possible.
Born in Tasmania but residing in Melbourne, Anita currently has so many innovative projects going on at the same time that it’s hard to keep track. She’s a prolific writer, an enthusiastic performer, and a keen collaborator. And a very open and honest human being to speak to. Oh, and have I mentioned she’s been in the music biz for 25 years?!
Anita walked me – a complete layperson – through the classical music scene in Australia. We also chatted about how it’s been branching out to other art forms and reaching out to other genres in recent years.
There’s so much new info that I’d suggest preparing a pen and paper to write it all down. But before then, give one of Anita’s collaboration projects a listen:
Episodes 3&4 – Peak Park
We’ve sort of been in touch since. And it was really good to catch up with the Melbourne art-rock trio to chat about what they were up to in the pandemic. We also delved into how they’re constantly looking for their identity through their music and social media presence.
We actually spoke for about 2.5 hours, but I managed to extract the most interesting bits from the chat. To me, it’s also cool to see how they’ve grown as human beings and become better mates in general.
Which does reflect heaps in their new tracks, believe you me. So listen to their latest EP first, and then the gents talking all about it in the podcast.
Episodes 5&6 – Fight The Sun
Believe it or not, I was raised (or rather, I raised myself) on heavier music. So, talking to the frontman of this Melbourne-based outfit was like going back to my roots.
Fight The Sun pitched their music to me through Groover. It’s a music promotion platform that brings together artists on one side and publications, bloggers, journos, and playlist curators, on the other.
The chat with Adrian reminded me how important it is to know your place in the business. So self-awareness is the theme of this episode.
Being reps of a slightly more “mature” generation, we also bitched about the role of social media in marketing (rock) music nowadays. But judging by their recent vid, I reckon they’re doing a good job:
Episodes 7&8 – Caiti Baker
I’ll be honest – when this Darwin-based R&B powerhouse agreed to speak to me, I still didn’t think it would happen. But Caiti Baker was super generous with the time and stories she shared with me and, by extension, with you, dear (potential) listeners.
Caiti has just released an album, which shows a new side to her. A more confident one, I dare say. But it took time, patience, and some pivotal life experiences to get there. Living on the Larrakia Land (where Darwin is) and having met some awesome people along the way also had something to do with it.
We also discuss mental health in the two episodes. So please bear that in mind when listening to them.
But first, check out Caiti’s new record.
Towards the end of May, I realised I still had quite a lot of good, previously unused material.
So I combined it all in one episode where you hear again from all four acts from season two. They talk about navigating TikTok, releasing music on Bandcamp, or pet pics, for instance.
This extra episode is probably the embodiment of a silly chat: you’ll find funny topics mixed with some serious ones there. Yet, somehow, they still refer to the inner works of the music business and the whole entertainment sector.
So it’s your turn now, readers. You’re officially invited to become my listeners as well. Pretty please, and thank you. You can find your preferred platform at the link below.
I’m planning season three already. So if you know of or are an Aussie muso with a story to tell, drop me a line on socials or through the contact section here on the blog. And if you follow or subscribe to the podcast, you’ll never miss any chat in the future (hint, hint).
In the meantime, however, why not press play on that first episode of the ‘Silly Talks’ and let me know what you think?
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